So you’ve started exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and cutting the junk food out of your diet. Excellent job! But what about the rest of your family? Their well-being is as important as your own, and there’s nothing more wonderful than seeing all of your loved ones healthy and full of energy. Moreover, their eating habits could drag you back to the days of binging on junk. The things we eat and drink play a major role in our mental health as well.
There’s no choice but to get everyone in the household eating right, and here’s how to go about it.
Add Fun to Fruits and Veggies
There are lots of ways to do this. For starters, summer is the perfect time to pay a visit to the farmers market and check out the fresh produce together. Young kids especially will be fascinated by all the intriguing shapes and colors of the eggplants, avocados, and squash on offer. Let the little ones pick something out, then look up exciting recipes online.
Make Healthy Snacks
Reaching for the bag of chips whenever there’s a rumble in the tummy has become a reflex for kids as well as adults, and it adds up. According to LiveScience, one-quarter of our calories come from snacking alone. Luckily, there’s no need to quit munching completely, as you can just change tactics. For a healthier option, turn to a gut-healthy guacamole with yogurt or sauerkraut or an assortment of dried fruit and nuts for your fix.
Choose Whole Grains
Starch is another way of adding inches to the waistline without even realizing it. You don’t have to completely cut out the bread, bagels, and cereals, just switch to whole grains, which offer a variety of health benefits for the whole family. As the experts at Health.com explain, whole grains provide loads of fiber while lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
Stop Frying Foods
It’s not just what you eat, but how you prepare it. Potatoes, for example, are an excellent source of slow-release carbs that keep your blood sugar at an optimal level throughout the day. But if you turn them into French fries, you load them with trans-fats, and those can be deadly. Look into other recipes that require baking or steaming instead.
Cut Down on the Salt
You probably put too much of it on those French fries, but the shaker on the table is actually just the tip of the iceberg. It turns out that the 75 percent of the salt in our diet comes from restaurant dishes and processed foods such as canned soups, cured meats, and frozen meals. That’s why it’s always better to prepare your own lunches and dinners with fresh meat and veggies.
Pay Attention to Labels
Looking at labels will let you know how much sodium, among other things, you’re serving your family for dinner each night. According to Livestrong.com, the nutritional information on those labels will help you cut down on nasty saturated fats and sugars while loading up on the vitamins and minerals that you need to stay healthy.
Hit the Kitchen Together
You can’t control your diet if you eat out at restaurants or bring home takeout. What’s more, cooking is a fun hobby that the whole family can enjoy while exploring nutritious recipes from around the globe. Besides helping everyone eat healthier, it’s a wonderful bonding experience that teaches kids a practical skill that will serve them for years to come.
Give Gardening a Try
Speaking of practical skills, actually growing food is another one of those. Besides, gardening gets the kids out in the sunshine, where they’ll learn an important lesson about the environment and where food comes from. It’s also wonderful exercise and provides a bounty of fresh vegetables that you’ll take much more pleasure in eating because you raised them yourselves.
Once everyone’s eating healthy, you’ll see a lot of positive changes, such as an increase in energy. Your loved ones will need it for that new exercise routine you’ve got planned.